“Leftwich Wasn’t A Mentor”

July 11th, 2011

What does a mentor do in the National Football League? Joe believes a mentor is a player who dumps his knowledge of the game on a younger player at every opportunity, sets a solid example and is eager to answer said player’s questions.

Per Pat Yasinskas, NFC South blogger for ESPN.com, Byron Leftwich wasn’t a mentor for Josh Freeman. Yasinskas makes this assertion in a post about whether rookie Cam Newton should have a veteran quarterback at his disposal.

Look at how Tampa Bay handled Josh Freeman. They had Byron Leftwich there as a (very short) bridge in Freeman’s rookie year. But Leftwich wasn’t a mentor. Freeman’s development came because he worked hard and because he got some very good coaching from offensive coordinator Greg Olson and Alex Van Pelt joined the Bucs as quarterbacks coach last season. Freeman frequently credits Olson and Van Pelt for his progress. It was kind of the same thing with Matt Ryan in Atlanta. Chris Redman might be an extra set of eyes and ears for Ryan, but offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey and former quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave were the ones who developed him.

It seems a bit harsh to say Leftwich wasn’t a mentor to Freeman. Perhaps he wasn’t?

If so, (Joe’s not buying it) then the Bucs really missed the mark in not simply keeping good guy Luke McCown as their 2009 starter.

17 Responses to ““Leftwich Wasn’t A Mentor””

  1. Chris FWC :) Says:

    Leftwich is just happy to be playing.

    … that’s a bunch of Mularkey!

  2. Adam Says:

    Leftwich wasn’t around long enough to mentor Freeman. Plus, I am not sure he is the guy I would want trying to mentor him anyway. He didn’t seem like the hardest worker, appeared to be soft and has a horrible delivery. If anything, Freeman could learn what NOT to do by watching Leftwich.

  3. Atrain WD40 Says:

    Leftwich left which is good for Freeman…. Lets end this Lockout now!

  4. Hunter Says:

    “If so, (Joe’s not buying it) then the Bucs really missed the mark in not simply keeping good guy Luke McCown as their 2009 starter.”

    Does it even matter now?

  5. Pete I Says:

    Who cares about leftwich anymore?

    Mentor? Leftwich has nothing to teach and thank goodness he is not a Buc. The Bucs made some poor, some good and some great choices under this new regime, but in general those bumps in the road seems to be at least on the right path.

  6. Amar Says:

    Getting rid of McCown for Leftwich was just as bad as the Jim Bates experiment. Oh well, it got us our 3rd overall pick GMC!

  7. FreemanBomb5 Says:

    Yeah well just think if we would’ve lost just one more game, I think we might have had Suh instead! Anyway lets just all rejoice that Freeman turned out just fine, without a “mentor”

  8. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    i remember rah rah slobbering all over about how great lefty was after anyone with 2 eyes and a brain could see that mccown beat him out.

    that, and the make j phillips a lb idea, was the beginning of the indicatorss that rah uses poor judgment and is clueless.

  9. McBuc Says:

    Leftwhich ios allot of things…I would not say soft was one of them. He is a pretty tough guy.

  10. BucFan941 Says:

    yeah that first year was not a good year..but they got the ship right fast

  11. Oahubuc Says:

    Wow, I remember two years ago right now looking at that group in the picture and feeling so depressed. How times change.

  12. m.wesley Says:

    Yeah Thomas you are right and how many time did Gruden change quarterbacks?and lets not forget those playoff games that we lost when we couldnt score and guess what I still was a fan of his still was drinking his kool aid because unlike you I am a fan of the team and you saw no faught in Gruden but find everything wrong with Rah,boy are you a classic case of ……..

  13. Espo Says:

    Thomas is right on that one. No ifs ands or buts. Sometimes pure negativity is correct.

    Leftovers wasn’t a bad idea at the time. He’s had success and became expendable to the Jaguars with David Gerard’s (relative) success. I was hoping we’d pickup whichever of those two were set free. Leftovers has also had some success with the Steelers. It just wasn’t a good match here, and he has been a punch line since.

    By the way, at Gator’s in Madeira Beach, there is a manatee dressed up in a Bucs uniform, and i truly do believe that Leftovers was the model they used to chisel that masterpiece.

  14. the_buc_realist Says:

    I remember when we used to make the playoffs. oh well As long as we are building this lasting contender with another 3rd place in the division…

  15. BigMacAttack Says:

    Hence the name “Sluggo”

    Thomas fell off his trike and scraped up his knee on his way to work at the library. 100% Raheem’s fault.

  16. Captain Stagger Says:

    Well, I’ll take Lefty and Freeman over Simms and Gradkowski any day…..talk about clueless……

  17. Espo Says:

    Freeman will be a Hall of Famer and a Super Bowl Chamption.

    Leftovers is.. well… leftovers.

    Simms would have become something had he not almost died for our entertainment. Show some respect.

    Bruce Bruce Gradkowski was my answer to our goaline issues at the time. My plan was to have him QB sneak 4 times in a row, because noone cared if he got hurt.